Planners split on homes bid

Wigan town hall
Wigan town hall

The first stage of plans to build new houses on the site of an existing home and garden has scraped past the planning committee.

Councillors passed the outline planning application for the site at Vicarage Farm and an address on Park Road in Hindley by six votes to five.

The developer asked for permission to take access to the site off Atherton Road and council officers told the meeting conditions would require widening the current entrance point and demolishing a boundary wall to improve visibility.

But councillors remained concerned about the site’s being close to a bus stop and zebra crossing and the number of pedestrians who would be visiting local shops and going to and from a nearby school. Concerns were also raised about how busy Atherton Road is, especially at peak times.

The committee heard around a dozen local residents had objected to the plan, with the speaker against describing the access point as potentially dangerous due to cars coming round a bend when approaching it. They also expressed alarm that a precedent would be set allowing other owners of properties with gardens to start applying for houses.

Architect Bill Pye, representing the developer, told the committee the same access point had previously been used for decades as the entrance and exit to an agricultural business with large vehicles using it.

The meeting heard the council’s highways engineers had raised no objections to the scheme due to the small number of vehicles which would be coming in and out of the development and other issues could be raised through conditions to mitigate them.

Although not part of the outline bid, an indicative layout was shown with four new homes plus a converted outbuilding.

Councillors were reassured they would be able to look at the reserved matters application when it was submitted and pass judgement on the number and type of houses proposed as well as look at other concerning matters such as how waste collection would be carried out.